Digambar Jains celebrate Paryushan for 10 days, and call it Das Lakshan. During the Parva they read and discuss 10 virtues, which
are called the cardinal virtues. These cardinal virtues are the inherent qualities of a human soul. The 10 cardinal virtues are :
1. FORGIVENESS (KSHAMA) - Total lack of anger.
2. HUMILITY (MARDAVA) - Lack of pride.
3. STRAIGHT FORWARDNESS (ARJAVA) - Lack of cunning.
4. CONTENTMENT (SAUCH)- Lack of greed.
5. TRUTHFULNESS (SATYA) - Lack of falsehood.
6. SELF-CONTROL (SAYAMA) - Control over physical violence.
7. AUSTERITY (TAPPA)- Austerity is repentance of one's sins.
8. RENUNCIATION (TYAGA)- Giving up possessions both internal and external.
9. DETACHMENT (APARIGRAHA)- Lack of attachment.
10. CELIBACY (BRAHMACHARYA).
The festival ordains the Jains to observe the above mentioned ten universal supreme virtues in daily practical life. Besides assuring a blissful
existence in this world and the other world for every living being, it aims at the attainment of salvation - the supreme ideal for mundane soul. The
non-Jains also express high reverence for this Jain festival. All members of Jain community- high and low, young and old, and males and females, participate with
full vigor and zeal in the various religious rituals and cultural programs. They listen with rapt attention to the holy sermons of the saints and learned Jain
scholars arranged during the ten-day festival. In these celebrations lie dormant the seeds of the well being, peace and happiness of the common man. On the eve
of this festival all activities, which add to social discord or bitterness are
declared taboo from the temple pulpits. These celebrations harbinger social harmony and amity and preach the lofty Jain motto
‘Live and Let live’.
At the conclusion of the festival, the Sravakas request each other for forgiveness for all offenses committed during the last year. This occurs on the
the Paryusha day for the Swetambara and on Pratipada (first) of Ashwin Krashna
for the Digambara. There are several great aphorisms (Sutras) to ask for forgiveness with the unity
of the body, speech and mind, and one of them is as follows:
Khämemi Savve Jivä, Savve Jivä Khamantu Mi
Mitti Me Savva bhuesu, Veram majjham na Kenai.
Meaning: I forgive all the living beings of the universe, and may all the living-beings forgive me for my faults. I do not have any animosity towards
anybody, and I have friendship for all living beings.
The process of shedding our karmäs really begins by asking for forgiveness with true feelings, and to take some vows not to repeat mistakes. The quality of the
forgiveness requires humility (vinay - absence of ego) and suppression of anger. Therefore, the real purpose of the Paryushan is to purify our soul by staying
closer to our own soul, to look at our own faults, to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we have committed, and take vows to minimize our faults. We try to
forget about the needs of our body (like food) and our business so that we can concentrate on our-self.
Paryushan Parva gives expression to the perfectly purified trait of the soul, through which one gets rid of worldly discords and allurements and one gets
fully absorbed in the eternal truth on experiencing and realizing the true nature of soul. In other words we can say that the natural realization of the
trio ‘the True, the Good and the Beautiful’ is fully possible only through Paryushan. In fact the other name of the Jainism, which is universal religion,
is Paryushan. This festival puts an end to all evils in man; gives him realization of the eternal bliss, and spiritualism becomes alive by the
celebration of this festival. To sum up, Paryushan Parva is a grand Jain festival of self-introspection, self-enlightenment and self-achievement, which ultimately leads to the one and only one final goal, i.e., liberation or salvation.